Crash and Burn (Book #3 Tessa Leoni) by Lisa Gardner

crash-and-burnGenre: Mystery, Suspense, Thriller
Publisher: Dutton
Publication Date: February 2015

A woman wakes up in a hospital room. She doesn’t remember who she is or how she got there. The man at her bedside claims he’s her husband, but she can’t recall that either. All she knows is that she must find Vero and save her before it’s too late, again.

Nicky Frank should never have survived that car accident, let alone climbed the steep embankment and flagged down a passing motorist. But somehow, despite the dark, the pouring rain, and her broken body, Nicky reached the road. Acting on the frantic woman’s pleas for help, Sergeant Wyatt Foster and his team work all night and into the following day trying to track a missing child, but every attempt meets a dead end. Even the search dog can’t pick up a scent. Then Nicky’s husband delivers a shocking revelation — his wife suffers from a brain injury that has messed with her mind, making anything she says unreliable.

With little information to go on and even less of which is known with certainty, Wyatt must piece together the events that led to the horrible crash if he hopes to uncover the truth behind that night. His investigations reveal a chilling pattern. What initially looked like a drunk driver sailing off the side of the road is actually one of several close calls Nicky has miraculously survived in the last six months, leading Wyatt to suspect that someone wants her dead and will stop at nothing to achieve it.

Only one rule stands when reading a Lisa Gardner novel, and that is that there are no rules. Regardless of how things look, they are never what they appear. Crash and Burn is no exception. Few authors can turn a story on its axis quicker and more expertly than Gardner. In the blink of an eye a victim becomes a perpetrator and vice versa — a fluctuating dance that continues until the final page. Gardner creates unequivocally complex characters (yes, even the villains!) that leave me wondering whether I should love or hate them, making her one of my favorite suspense authors.

Powerful storytelling, vivid settings, and intriguing characters plunged me deep into the novel, leaving me salivating for more even as the last word dropped off the page. I felt the glass cutting into my palm, smelled the acrid scent of vomit, heard the grinding crunch of crushed metal, and tasted the remnants of alcohol on my tongue right along with Nicky.

Unfortunately, it does come at the expense of strong language. Due to mature and difficult themes I also highly advise it remain within its target audience. Other than that, I recommend Crash and Burn to readers looking for an edge-of-the-seat thriller that will get the heart racing and adrenaline pumping.

Review copy provided by publisher. Thanks!

**Originally posted on Life is Story.

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